Marc Rachiele, the director of vendor management and marketing for Ingram Micro's Data Collection/Point Of Sale Division, talks about VAR strategies for 2010 with Business Solutions magazine President Jim Roddy.
Length: 7 min, 41 sec
BSM: One of the things that we've talked about throughout this morning is recurring revenue streams. That's something that you recommend VARs do differently in 2010 if they haven't done it already in 2009.
Rachiele: One example of that is managed services. Managed services is a way for VARs to take costs out of their business and take costs out of their partner's business, and create a reoccurring revenue stream.
If the economy goes down, they have that monthly reoccurring revenue already coming in, and it's a good core business for them to always rely on.
BSM: If a reseller isn't in this model right now, what could they be looking at saving?
Rachiele: Some of the biggest savings are tech support. A lot of VARs have their own tech support. They can outsource some of that to a distributor like Ingram Micro. And their partners also are looking for that type of support. So, what happens when the system goes down at 2 o'clock in the morning? Who's watching those lights? Who knows, "Hey, there's a problem there and we need to go and fix that"?
Ingram Micro can help you with that by outsourcing that. And you then, as a VAR, can charge your customer that monthly fee to watch those lights. So you're keeping those partners up and keeping their business running and also providing incremental revenue streams for the VAR themselves.
BSM: That's going to require VARs to really move outside their comfort zone – at least some VARs. Can you talk a little bit about diversification... and what a reseller can do in order to expand their comfort zone?
Rachiele: I think Ingram has gone through this themselves. We, 10 years ago, were considered a box pusher. People would send us orders, and we'd send boxes out. We recognized about 10 years ago that you can't continue to do just that one thing and build your business. I think VARs have to look at that the same way. You absolutely have to have your core competencies, and you have to be very good at those core competencies, but don't be afraid to look at other options, especially when there's partners out there. Utilize your distribution partners, understand what options they have for you – because it's not as expensive as you may think to get into some adjacencies.
This is only a portion of this exclusive interview. For the complete podcast, go to the media player at the top of this page.